August 30 2014

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Bull’s Eye: Liberty United x Giles & Brother


Philip Crangi, Cara Buono, Peter Thum, and Courtney Crangi at the launch of Liberty United

Last night at the Jane hotel’s rooftop bar, the likes of Parker Posey, Jenna Lyons, and Glenn O’Brien joined social entrepreneur Peter Thum to fete the debut of his brave new label, Liberty United. Thum works with local governments to source confiscated or bought-back firearms and melted-down bullet casings, which he then hands over to artists and jewelers to turn into covetable, and politically conscious, accessories. A portion of the proceeds from the collections will be donated to initiatives seeking to reduce gun-related violence in the U.S.

Thum tapped Giles & Brother’s Philip and Courtney Crangi to design Liberty United’s first lineup, which comprised a series of necklaces, rings, and bracelets in the form of brass, steel, and sterling-silver nails. The wares are each stamped with the serial number of a permanently impounded and decommissioned weapon and can be engraved with up to eight characters of your choosing. “It’s our signature,” Philip Crangi told of the spike motif, “but it’s a brand-new model.” Showing off a tray of brass bracelets, he added, “We made these out of smelted bullet shells.”

Liberty United's debut collection with Giles & Brother

It was Thum’s wife, actress Cara Buono, who pushed for Liberty United on American turf, after witnessing her husband’s success with Fonderie 47, a similar project that he launched in Africa. “[Thum] doesn’t do this for glamour,” said Courtney Crangi. “He does it because of his heart.”

Guests were eager to purchase and personalize their jewelry. Earlier in the evening, Philip surprised Courtney with a cuff imprinted with “MOMMY,” and Prabal Gurung chose the initials “G.U.P.” for his bracelet. While that monogram stood for “Grace Under Pressure,” it could just as easily have been read as a fitting, mission-centric message: Guns Used Peacefully.

Giles & Brother for Liberty United can now be ordered online, at Prices start at $85.

Photo: Billy Farrell/

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